Okay, let us get right to the point. Who are your mentors? Who do you spend time with on a regular basis? Who can you trust? What are you doing to impact the next generation? Recently, I read the Mentoring Manifesto by Regi Campbell, author of About My Father’s Business and Mentor Like Jesus. Regi is serious about mentoring. Listen to his declaration, “I love being a mentor.I will be a mentor until I die.It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.It might just be the most fulfilling thing you’ll ever do.”
I ask men on a regular basis who are their mentors and who are they mentoring? I’ve heard a good variety of answers and really a bunch of lame excuses. I am sure you have heard some of those excuses also. Like, “I don’t have the time” or “It is not my job.” And then there is “I don’t have the knowledge” or “I just can’t do it.” I told you, lame excuses. Mentoring is not that hard, we make it hard. If you have a little time, a voice, an ear, and a willingness to build relationship you can mentor. Now, that doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Yet, many continue to go through the motions, failing to have mentors and being mentors.
So, what is a mentor? The word mentor simply means “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher, an influential senior sponsor or supporter” (dictionary.com). Mentoring is about helping others. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
It is so easy to get caught up with our own agendas that we forget those who surround us on a daily basis. Mentoring requires a little of our time. Sometimes we have to decide what is more important, meetings or souls, routines or roles, busyness or making time to enrich a life and encouraging someone to pursue God’s best for their lives.
The are many scriptures that address the subject of mentoring. Here are four passages that deserve our attention:
- “Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.” (Proverbs 9:9)
- “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)
- “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)
- “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. – (2 Timothy 2:2)
One writer said, “Show me who your mentors are and I show you yourself.” Each of the scriptures above clearly display the change in a persons’ life because of having mentors, “He who walks with wise men will be wise…” Mentoring is about changing lives. Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Mentoring is powerful! As you read this article I want to encourage you in mentoring. If presently you do not have a mentor(s) I encourage you to get one. It will change your life. But, you are the only one who can make that change. Thinking about it is good, but you must be intentional. Belive me, there are many mentors waiting for your invitation to pour into your life, pray for you, listen to you, ask the hard questions, and build a life-long relationship.
My last paragraph will hopefully help someone who is looking for a mentor and you need advice on finding the right one. I understand and appreciate your desire to find a good mentor. There is an excellent article by best selling author Margaret Feinberg offering advice for finding a spiritual mentor. The article, “Ten Tips for Finding the Mentor You Need” can be accessed at lifeway.com under the articles tab. Go ahead, get started in mentoring and experience the blessing of a changed life. Go for it! You will never regret your decision.
Bill Terry is the National Director for Men’s Ministries and the Assistant Director for Discipleship Ministries. Bill resides in Oklahoma City with his lovely wife Rita, where they will celebrate 44 years of marriage in 2015. He is the proud head of an extended family that includes two sons Gregory and Rodney, daughters-in-law Holly and Brec, granddaughters Grace, Annie, Emily and Elena and grandson Adam Gregory.